Cars & Motorcycles
Practical Classics

Practical Classics August 2018

Practical Classics magazine has a 30-year tradition of delivering the very best, hands-on classic car experiences to its readers. Every staff writer and contributor works on and restores their own classics. Each issue is packed with: * Rigorous buying advice * Real-world product tests * Inspirational classic driving features * Fascinating historical insight Practical Classics is also a campaigning title, taking the concerns of classic car owners to Parliament and keeping its readers' classics where they belong - on the road. So come and join PC in the workshop - the kettle's on.

United Kingdom
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13 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
welcome to the workshop

The end of a protracted restoration is sometimes a bit of an anti-climax. If you have grease in your blood, once a job is done, then the interesting bit is over. That was never going to happen with our Austin Westminster Countryman. When we teamed up with Anglia Car Auctions seven years ago and agreed to pilot the restoration, we always knew the biggest moment in the Westie project was going to be when it was finished. That’s when we would find out if the publicity we had given the car was going to pay off for the kids who really needed it. And it certainly did. At the auction, on June 16, the car raised £35,000 for the Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund. All the partners who made it happen came…

2 min.
westie makes £35k for the kids!

Practical Classics’ most complex restoration project ever, the unique Austin Westminster A105 Countryman automatic, sold for £31,000 at Anglia Car Auctions in Kings Lynn on June 16. With ACA waiving its commission this means the sale raised £35,000 for Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund. The seven-year restoration, which started in our October 2011 issue, required a total reconstruction, but thanks to industry partners, readers and well-wishers, every barrier to completion has been broken down. Rob George from ACA told PC: ‘I’m very pleased with the result. We thought it would go well but breaking through £30k is beyond our expectations and a meaningful amount of money for Lennox.’ A crowded auction room saw the bidding start at £16,000 and quickly reach £28,000. A telephone bidder and two ‘live’ bidding competitors in the room…

1 min.
the westminster story

Two Westminster Estates for sale at ACA in Sept 2011. Banger racers wanted ‘em… we got ‘em. The car on the left for spares, the unique automatic is on the right. Stripdown at Body Shop Wisbech. The team comes face to face with the magnitude of the task. The car is rotten and everything will need replacing or rebuilding. In steps Les Ely (right) owner of CL Panelcraft who did the detailed body restoration, prepared the car and painted it to an exceptionally high standard. Freshly-rebuilt engine and autobox delivered to CBR Motor Bodies, who completed the entire fit-up (along with all our other partners) entirely free of charge. Body ready for building up. It was missing some vital parts many of which were made from scratch in CBR’s workshops.…

2 min.
starting handle

‘Tax real-world car use, not ownership’ I understand the need to improve air quality in London and other large cities and I get the idea that we all need to share that burden, but a prerequisite for any restrictions on car use is the upgrading of public transport as a viable alternative. Public transport in London is expensive, often unreliable and, since TfL started pulling staff out of stations, not as safe as it should be. Should we not demand that bus and lorry fleets be upgraded before we penalise owners of older cars? And why not increase London’s runway capacity at Gatwick rather than Heathrow? The Ultra Low Emissions Zone, as revealed by Mayor Sadiq Khan, represents a regressive flat tax and it sends a simple message: you’re welcome to drive…

1 min.
cable ties £1.50 upwards

Invented by electrical company Thomas and Betts in 1958, the cable tie (or Ty-Rap as it was originally branded) has got many a classic owner out of a pickle. Used for a vast array of repairs (although perhaps under-used when it comes to actually tying cables!), on our recent Britain’s Best Classic Destination road trip we used four of them as a makeshift fanbelt for a Frogeye Sprite. They travelled 40 miles before we removed them and, on inspection, they were in perfect condition. All hail the humble cable tie! TRIED AND TRUSTED These are so handy for all sorts of jobs – even tethering cables, so we’re told.…

2 min.
‘stealth’ tax to bar classics

Under proposals to widen the 2021 ULEZ beyond the centre of the city – a move that Mayor of London Sadiq Khan says is ‘tackling lethal air and safeguarding the health of Londoners’ – the vast majority of cars built before 2005 will be forced to pay a daily charge of £12.50. This would include those belonging to residents, though Transport for London is suggesting a delicately named ‘sunset period’ in that those who live within the zone would be granted a 90 per cent discount for up to two years after the ULEZ begins – ‘during which they can review their transport choices’. ‘I can’t afford to shell out for a brand-new shiny vehicle’ Vehicles liable for the daily charge include motorcycles that don’t meet Euro 3 standards, petrol cars that…